Hi, this is Jeff Gabriel, co-founder of SAW.com and we want you to join the ICA!
So what is the ICA? The ICA is the Internet Commerce Association. The ICA has accomplished many amazing things that, if you’re serious about offering any type of goods or services being an investor, being a registrar, or even a broker like myself and you’re serious about the domain industry, you should be part of this group. They look out for people like us. The part that I love about this group is that it is small and you get to share your opinions and be part of what they’re trying to accomplish. Not only have they looked out for those in the domain industry, but they have helped countless nonprofits save tens of thousands of dollars per year on just registration fees and costs.
So I’m going to get into this right here and read you the story of Ethos Capital versus the ICA. The ICA was at the forefront of opposition to the Ethos Capital acquisition of the Public Interest registry which owns and manages the dot-org TLD. Why does that matter to you or anyone for that matter? Well, here’s a very abridged version. ICANN, which is a governing body of the majority of domain extensions, removed the price caps on the dot-org extension so that technically means that those that manage the dot-org extension could raise a renewal price to almost whatever they’d like. The current wholesale price of a dot-org is nine dollars and ninety-three cents and they have about ten million dot-orgs registered at the present time. Some of you might say, “Okay, so what?” Well just by pure coincidence, shortly after the caps were lifted, the dot-org registry sold to a company called Ethos Capital which was led by the former CEO of ICANN and without any reason but greed, Ethos could effectively change the price of a dot-org, let’s just guess, to $20.00 a year and double their revenue. Just to give you a little bit of an example, I’m sure you’re familiar with the YMCA. Well, they own 5,400 dot-org domain names and for all of the camps, gyms, projects, and great things they are doing, Ethos would siphon fifty-four thousand extra dollars from those great things year after year if they got their way. Well, guess what? When the ICA found out about this travesty, Zach Malkovich, the head of the ICA and a great friend of mine, an amazing lawyer, was the first to submit a letter to ICANN which caught the eye of the state of California Department of Justice, which began the movement to get this overturned. After a thorough investigation, ICANN decided to overturn the purchase and did specifically cite the very first comments submitted by the ICA which is a very large determining factor in the decision, creating precedence. Interests in their comments will take part in future decision-making by ICANN. So, if you don’t think these are two groundbreaking achievements, you need to think a little bit more.
The ICA led the charge to organize opposition to the lifting of the price caps on dot-org, helping the nonprofit community which brought in over three thousand comments to ICANN telling them not to do this. And let’s not forget the recent price increase on dot-com that they were trying to push through as well which brought in over 9,000 public comments. ICANN initially disregarded these public comments and it is now the foundation for the critique of ICANN’s governance and has been cited in the letters from Congress and more importantly the California Attorney General. So in essence, ICANN is taking fees and being supported to help the world and the public and they are actually doing the opposite. ICANN has been forced to do the right thing and the ICA has been a little bit of a police force policing the police.
If you care about ensuring that domain name investing in registering domain names remains affordable and productive, then the ICA needs your support. There are powerful forces at play who would like to destroy the domain name investment business and to make it more difficult for you to purchase and sell domain names, which are an asset class like any other asset. Join this group! Join it today. $25 a month can go so far for so many people just like yourself. Visit Internetcommerce.org/join, again Internetcommerce.org/join is where you should go to join today Internetcommerce.org/join.
And this leads me to some really good news: they’ve just lowered their monthly membership fee to just $25 a month. Yeah I understand, it’s hard times out there and there are a lot of great causes but the ICA has accomplished quite a bit and I’ll tell you what; it’s worth every single penny. So what do you get with your $25 a month membership? Well, you get to help in participating and formulating ICA domain name policies. This is quite large. You get to help out with the policies that we’re creating and what we’re trying to go for next. You get a public profile on the ICA website. You get an ICA website membership badge which creates credibility among customers. You get identification as an ICA member on the name pros meeting and networking with the other ICA members and ICA mailing lists. You get access to the ICA general counsel on policy matters; this is actually a really important resource for people in the domain business to go and look at different situations they might find themselves in. This is something that would cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees to find plus much more.
You also get to rub elbows with the likes of yours truly and other big industry players. It’s really like the “who’s who” in the domain industry and if you pay close attention, I’m sure you know who those people are and they are all members of the ICA. But most importantly, in my opinion, the ICA has helped out not just those on the Internet or in the domain industry – they have helped out thousands, if not tens of thousands, of nonprofits to save money.
Be informed. Join the ICA.